1. Dice red pepper into small pieces and set aside. Dice and sauté onion in butter, then add red pepper, brown sugar, vinegar, cardamom, salt and pepper, and simmer.
2. Dissolve corn starch and add to pepper mix. Relish should be smooth and not watery. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed to personal preference.
Gazpacho with Grilled Vegetables
2 lbs. ripe tomatoes (or a 28-oz. can of whole tomatoes, drained)
2 ears corn, husks on
1 small red onion, peeled and halved
1 poblano pepper
2 red bell peppers
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
11/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 cup rinsed, finely chopped cilantro leaves
1 cup spicy hot tomato juice (additional juice may be added if desired)
1. In a large saucepan, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Score the bottom of each tomato with an X. Working in two batches, place the tomatoes in boiling water for 15 seconds. Remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon and place in an ice bath. Peel tomatoes starting at the point of the X pulling downward. Seed and chop, then set aside.
2. Pull husks back from corn and remove corn silk with a paper towel. Place husks back around corn and soak in cold water, about 15 minutes before grilling. Place corn, onion (cut side down), poblano and bell peppers on a prepared charcoal or gas grill grate over high heat. Grill and turn corn until tender, about 8 minutes. Remove onion when nicely grill marked. Using tongs, turn peppers until skin is charred.
3. Place charred peppers in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap; set aside for about 10-12 minutes. Remove charred skin from peppers, rinse, stem, seed and chop, then place in a large food processor bowl. Carefully run knife down corn to remove kernels from cob. Add corn, onion and garlic to bowl and process for about 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes, cucumber, vanilla extract, vinegar, cumin and cilantro and process to desired consistency.
4. Pour mixture into a large bowl, add tomato juice and stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill for 2 hours before serving.
Chile Corn Custard Squares
3 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1 large onion, finely chopped
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream, plus additional for garnish
1/2 cup canned creamed corn
2 Tbsp. minced seeded jalapeño chiles
2/3 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (or 1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup crumbled queso fresco, divided)
Tomato salsa (for garnish)
1. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add finely chopped onion and sauté until soft and beginning to brown, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Cool.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8-inch square metal baking pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in small bowl and set aside.
3. Whisk egg, 1/3 cup cheese blend, 1/2 cup sour cream, creamed corn and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in large bowl. Add flour mixture and stir to blend. Stir in jalapeno and caramelized onions. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup cheese blend over.
4. Bake until puffed and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into 1-inch squares. Place on platter and top each square with dollop of sour cream, then a small spoonful of salsa.